Many on the left claim that “Medicare for All” will save you money. They say that healthcare will be better and more affordable under a government system. Not true. According to a new Heritage Foundation study, not only would private insurance be outlawed and everyone forced to use government healthcare, but a family of four earning the median income would pay $9,000 a year to pay for Medicare For All. That’s about equal to what they spend on food every year.
This week, Tommy Binion breaks down the report, and pushes back against the left’s narrative that the middle class would save money under “Medicare for All.”
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How Medicare For All Harms Working Americans
Medicare For All Would Make Most Families Poorer (Charts and Infographics):
from the Heritage Foundation I'm Tim de sure and this is heritage explains I have a plan that shows how we can have Medicare for all without raising taxes one cent on middle-class families I spent a big chunk of my life studying why families go broke and one of the number one reasons is the cost of health care medical bills and that's not just for people who don't have insurance Medicare for all solves that problem that senator Elizabeth Warren to solve our healthcare problems she believes we should eliminate all private insurance and let the federal government control all aspects of healthcare some call it Medicare for all others call it single-payer and others call it universal health care we'd call it a disaster leaders on the left always say they talk with people around the country about how they want government to run health care I wish he'd talk to me if she did she'd learn the following I am an insulin dependent type one diabetic I wear a medical device and give myself injections before every meal when I get up in the morning when I go to bed at night and whenever my blood sugar is too high I also regularly prick my finger to test blood sugar as my dad said once son you're a human pin cushion without exaggeration my entire life hinges on access to affordable healthcare so when I was set to study abroad in London I didn't really fear at first one because I was young and dumb and really didn't think anything bad would happen but also I knew they had universal health care so I'd at least be covered a little bit two months into my studies I realized a serious potentially life-threatening issue related to my disease I needed to see a doctor immediately so I went to the local hospital the young admin clerk looked at her schedule and said the next opening she had was in a week and a half I reiterated that it was serious and she said she just couldn't accommodate me I began to cry and I begged her in a crowded waiting room I went into great detail about what was going on it was actually so gross that I won't even share it with you the bottom line I was humiliated I was embarrassed and I was defeated as I was walking away she said that she was able to move some things around to accommodate me I turned and looked at her and broke out into tears and thanked her I share this story because I have experienced the type of healthcare system senator Warren is advocating for of course she nor any member on the left wants someone to go through what I went through in the UK but it is the sad reality of how universal health care works there are a limited number of doctors resources and the ability to see people to me it's amazing how much power an administrative clerk in their young 20s had over me if it wasn't for her having compassion on me I wouldn't have been able to see a doctor also did a person lose their place in line because of me likely so but let's think about this for a second let's say we did pass medicare-for-all and everyone had access to government health care what would it cost senator warren says that if we tax billionaires we can pay for it without raising taxes on the middle class is that true is it even possible if not what should the solution be Tommy Binion is the vice president of government relations here at the Heritage Foundation and this week he explains Tommy we've heard the term Medicare for all thrown around quite a bit and this new report that we're talking about today it's called how Medicare for all harms working Americans it it really does correct the bad information coming out from the left so but you know one of the problems is that bernie sanders has his version elizabeth warren has her version so if you could lay a foundation here what is a good definition that aggregates at all well so Medicare for all is not it Medicare for all is I think a really a mischaracterization for what these presidential candidates on the Democratic primary stage are selling us what they're selling us is government-run health care what they're selling us is making private health insurance private arrangements with health care providers private transactions making all of that illegal and replacing it with a scheme where you can go to a government-run health care facility and get health care furthermore this paper is about correcting one of I think the quintessential myths one of the quintessential mischaracterizations that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and others are saying about this government-run health care plan they are saying you will be better off financially yes this will cost more money in terms of a tax increase but think of all the money you'll be saving on health care so what our analysts here at the Heritage Foundation what what Jamie Hall and Ed his lawyer did is they asked themselves okay how much is Medicare for all going to cost how much does that mean taxes are going to go up on Americans and will we as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren say be better off what do you think the answer that question is well from personal experience I I think that we would probably be worse off but let's get into it just a little bit here how much do we do we have a projection how much over the next ten years this is all gonna cost there are there are lots of projections about how much Medicare will for all will cost over ten years honestly the ten-year budget window is is really hard to calculate so what this paper focuses on is if it were enacted today how much would it cost next year got it you can get a lot more on accurate analysis if you just look at how much is it going to cost in the first year so that's what this paper does and so let's get to it how much is it gonna cost Americans the best part about this paper is it calculates how much it's going to cost each one of us individually so the the simple way to say it is your payroll tax is going to go up 21% which means what that means you're gonna well for me it would mean $9,000 I'm gonna I'm a married couple with two children and I'm on an employer-based health plan that means my taxes are going to go up nine thousand dollars next year Tim I can't afford that I don't know if you could I can't no no not at all no and and tell me about consequences of that tell me about so so we eliminate completely you will no longer go to the the doctor that you have would you be assigned a hospital how would how would this work how conceptually how would this work well those decisions today are yours if something is wrong with you you have the choice to go which doctor you want to go see what treatment you want to seek how you want to handle your health care under a government-run system all of those choices are taken away from you they're given to the government the beauty of today's system is the choices that you as an American consumer have choices are what makes the market go when businesses have to compete for your business when they want you to choose them they're gonna offer you a better product at a lower price of course when you take that choice away and you give it to the government they have completely different they will prioritize different things will the government prioritize health care for very old Americans probably not will they prioritize health care that's going to cost a lot to save the lives of somebody or maybe a cheaper treatment that has a less a worse success rate the incentives are different when you give the choices to the government and we've heard those nightmare stories from countries that already have this they really are a nightmare okay just a quick break from our conversation what are the big issues happening in DC and what are the issues happening that the media doesn't want you to know about well the agenda can clear all that up it's an email that comes out on Monday morning and gives you the conservative perspective along with television interviews from our experts on all the issues as well as important events happening at the Heritage Foundation be in the know sign up by emailing managing editor at Heritage org or you can scroll down to the bottom of Heritage org and look for these subscribe to email updates section it's on the right hand side of the bottom of the page okay let's get back to our interview with Tommy the the sobering reality here is that at least in this report from my understanding is that it's impossible for corporations for billionaires and you know and drug companies to pay for a Medicare for All system but the left continues on that what what are they basing that on well they're not basing it on mathematics in any way if you just want to tax the wealthy to pay for your Medicare for all plan there's not enough money there you could tax him at a hundred percent which of course would drive their productivity down to zero percent but if you taxed him at 99.9 percent you still wouldn't have enough money to pay for Medicare for all and and let's keep in mind Medicare for all is not the only thing that Elizabeth Warren wants to pay for Medicare for all is not the only new program that Bernie Sanders is pushing so where are they going to get the money to pay for all of these things and it's you know it's not so much about well our our debt and our deficit is gonna go up it's about the fact that this is completely an unrealistic policy agenda that will bankrupt our country that will cost us as individuals and families amounts of money that we clearly cannot afford and so we're you know the American people that are that are that are buying this they're being sold a bill of goods and and that's my question do they actually buy this do Americans actually think that this can work or is this purely politics well some of them are buying it a Warren and and and and Sanders are doing fine in the Democratic primary and in some respects they're surging certainly over over the decades these types of policies are as popular as they've ever been socialism is as popular today in America as it's as it's ever been that's a sobering reality I want to go back to what I said at the very beginning though maybe people are just buying into the term Medicare for all Medicare is fairly popular and Medicare for all is a benign phrase there is quite the marketing job being done by these presidential candidates and their campaigns to sell these proposals just the the very myth that this paper was written to dispel that you will be financially better off under Medicare for all I think all of the people that support this plan don't know that that's not true but hopefully this paper does something to change that what is this doing for the narrative you know they the left goes really really really far left and then if they get half of that that's a huge still a huge victory for them is there a strategy here for that or is this is this go for broke you'd have to ask them that question these are proposals that you need the United States Congress to enact now obviously the president alone he or she could not enact this policy the vote are not there in the United States Congress for Medicare for all the very liberal Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi opposes Medicare for all so the votes are not there that begs the question if one of these people is elected president what will the actual legislative agenda be I have no idea and that's troubling in and of itself what's the fixed on our end what are we proposing well we are proposing a health care system that restores choice to the consumer if you have choice if you have competition you're able to choose healthcare that's best for your family also you know the the conservative ideas on health care are about protecting the most vulnerable are about working within the market system to deliver the best outcomes they're about recognizing what's good today and what we need to get rid of today furthermore it's about driving the cost down if you're like me your health care costs shot up since Obamacare was enacted if you get your health insurance from your employer rest assured the cost that they are paying the cost of that benefit to you has gone up dramatically if you're having to buy health insurance yourself you know exactly how much it costs because it's one of the biggest line items in your personal or your family budget the conservative health care options are about driving that cost back down where it should be that's what the market will restore that's one of the miracles about the economy that we're experiencing right now is that people's wages are going up while at the same time the cost of health care continues to rise so employers are really really giving a benefit to their employees because of a strong economy but when the economy goes back down if it does sorry wages go down too right and when and when that benefit becomes too expensive for employers to provide and employees have to go out and purchase it themselves their purchasing power is way down because the cost of basic coverage is way up Tommy thanks so much for coming in today appreciate it you bet and that's it for another episode of heritage explains we love hearing from you guys so please send us an email at managing editor at heritage org that's managing editor at heritage org let us know what you think of the show let us know what we can improve on let us know any ideas or topics that you might have for another episode Michele's up next week for a special Thanksgiving episode gobble gobble heritage explains is produced by Michelle Cordero and Tim Dasher with editing by Thalia Ramprasad